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I’ve been cruising for the past 15 years and I will try to give an objection opinion for all of you. I won’t include the good and bad of the cruise ports we went on or the weather which have nothing to do with the ship. So, I’ve been cruising for 14 years and have seen a lot of changes in the industry. The Carnival Horizon is a gorgeous ship. It was very clean, my girlfriend and I loved the décor and the center area with its funnel shaped changing screen is a site to behold. The cabins are also nicely appointed and very comfortable. The new elevator system is neat but doesn’t always work as intended (not as fast as you would like). The restaurants that we tried were excellent. But the Carnival Horizon represents a new vision with cruising which has caused me to say that, after 23 cruises, this is my very last cruise. It used to be that you paid your cruise fare and everything was included. Tipping was done with cash and you paid extra for good service. Yes, even during formal night, a lot of the guys would wear tuxedos. Then little things started to change. You still get your towel animals done by your steward but the little mints they used to give you are gone. On past cruises, you could order room service anytime you wanted and pretty much get anything you wanted at no extra charge. This is vastly different on Carnival Horizon where room service without charge is only available from 2pm-10pm and the available free room service menu is limited to a few sandwiches. Anything else (and everything else outside of the 2pm-10pm time frames) is an extra charge. A few years ago, cruise ships added a specialty restaurant where you could pay extra to get a better dining experience. The Carnival Horizon has five such restaurants. We did try Jade ($15 extra per person) and it was a great Asian meal for sure. But Fahrenheit 555 will set you back an extra $30 per person. The regular dining room was good too but they tried to get you to buy wine or fresh pressed juices. Don’t get me wrong, all of this looked good. But it does seem like less and less is included in your cruise fare. The Carnival Horizon also has an IMAX theater which is very impressive…but a movie will cost you $12.95 per person. They also have an interactive theater which we liked. But again, this was $5 per person. I will say the entertainment on the Horizon was pretty good and better than you would expect on a cruise ship. Our favorite show was Soul Bound followed by Vintage Pop. We liked the Havana Club and pool. You can only use the pool after 7pm unless you have a Havana cabin. But the Havana pool, the Serenity adult area, the shows and restaurants were all good. The buffet was okay but I really do think it was designed on this ship to be good but not too good…so you’ll try the specialty restaurants for an extra charge. But like everyone else, I hate, hate, hate automatic gratuities and so, like a lot of people on our cruise; I waited in line (a long line) at the customer service desk the last day to have the gratuities removed. The reason is that I always pay cash tips for great service and the automatic gratuities added to your bill do not go directly to the people that waited on you or really to anyone else but the cruise line. The reason is that an employee on a cruise ship signs up for a 6 month or 9 month contract with a salary. That salary is based on what tips the cruise line would be expected to receive but I like to tip the people that waited on me directly. So, the bottom line for us is that not too much is included in the cruise fare. The cruise lines seemingly want you to pay extra for this and extra for that. I’m not even including the typical shopping on board for t-shirts, cheap jewelry and other things that we’ve come to expect. But a vacation is always about getting the best value for your money. In our case, we took a 6 night cruise, with taxes and port charges added, for a total of $1,313. But…then you have to pay $132 to park at the port…then you have to pay $144 ($72 each) for internet on board the cruise ship. This comes to about $264 a day for a very small cabin (and yes you will hear your neighbors), some decent food at the main dining room and a couple of good shows. So you really do have to ask yourself if this would be worth it to you. In our case, we think that at this point, going to an all-inclusive land based resort (such as Sandals) might be the better deal. The cost may be a little more but your room will be stunning, no constant announcements about shopping, no pre-paid gratuities, no up charges for a restaurant. So, in summary, the Carnival Horizon is a gorgeous ship, but what you get for the money no longer makes sense.

Nice ship but my last cruise

Carnival Horizon Cruise Review by Distantsun24

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I’ve been cruising for the past 15 years and I will try to give an objection opinion for all of you. I won’t include the good and bad of the cruise ports we went on or the weather which have nothing to do with the ship. So, I’ve been cruising for 14 years and have seen a lot of changes in the industry. The Carnival Horizon is a gorgeous ship. It was very clean, my girlfriend and I loved the décor and the center area with its funnel shaped changing screen is a site to behold. The cabins are also nicely appointed and very comfortable. The new elevator system is neat but doesn’t always work as intended (not as fast as you would like). The restaurants that we tried were excellent. But the Carnival Horizon represents a new vision with cruising which has caused me to say that, after 23 cruises, this is my very last cruise.

It used to be that you paid your cruise fare and everything was included. Tipping was done with cash and you paid extra for good service. Yes, even during formal night, a lot of the guys would wear tuxedos. Then little things started to change. You still get your towel animals done by your steward but the little mints they used to give you are gone. On past cruises, you could order room service anytime you wanted and pretty much get anything you wanted at no extra charge. This is vastly different on Carnival Horizon where room service without charge is only available from 2pm-10pm and the available free room service menu is limited to a few sandwiches. Anything else (and everything else outside of the 2pm-10pm time frames) is an extra charge. A few years ago, cruise ships added a specialty restaurant where you could pay extra to get a better dining experience. The Carnival Horizon has five such restaurants. We did try Jade ($15 extra per person) and it was a great Asian meal for sure. But Fahrenheit 555 will set you back an extra $30 per person. The regular dining room was good too but they tried to get you to buy wine or fresh pressed juices. Don’t get me wrong, all of this looked good. But it does seem like less and less is included in your cruise fare.

The Carnival Horizon also has an IMAX theater which is very impressive…but a movie will cost you $12.95 per person. They also have an interactive theater which we liked. But again, this was $5 per person. I will say the entertainment on the Horizon was pretty good and better than you would expect on a cruise ship. Our favorite show was Soul Bound followed by Vintage Pop. We liked the Havana Club and pool. You can only use the pool after 7pm unless you have a Havana cabin. But the Havana pool, the Serenity adult area, the shows and restaurants were all good. The buffet was okay but I really do think it was designed on this ship to be good but not too good…so you’ll try the specialty restaurants for an extra charge. But like everyone else, I hate, hate, hate automatic gratuities and so, like a lot of people on our cruise; I waited in line (a long line) at the customer service desk the last day to have the gratuities removed. The reason is that I always pay cash tips for great service and the automatic gratuities added to your bill do not go directly to the people that waited on you or really to anyone else but the cruise line. The reason is that an employee on a cruise ship signs up for a 6 month or 9 month contract with a salary. That salary is based on what tips the cruise line would be expected to receive but I like to tip the people that waited on me directly.

So, the bottom line for us is that not too much is included in the cruise fare. The cruise lines seemingly want you to pay extra for this and extra for that. I’m not even including the typical shopping on board for t-shirts, cheap jewelry and other things that we’ve come to expect. But a vacation is always about getting the best value for your money. In our case, we took a 6 night cruise, with taxes and port charges added, for a total of $1,313. But…then you have to pay $132 to park at the port…then you have to pay $144 ($72 each) for internet on board the cruise ship. This comes to about $264 a day for a very small cabin (and yes you will hear your neighbors), some decent food at the main dining room and a couple of good shows. So you really do have to ask yourself if this would be worth it to you. In our case, we think that at this point, going to an all-inclusive land based resort (such as Sandals) might be the better deal. The cost may be a little more but your room will be stunning, no constant announcements about shopping, no pre-paid gratuities, no up charges for a restaurant. So, in summary, the Carnival Horizon is a gorgeous ship, but what you get for the money no longer makes sense.
Distantsun24’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4H 2227
Our cabin was nicely appointed but….cabins on this shop are about 20 square feet smaller than similar cabins on similar ships. I’m assuming so that the Horizon can squeeze more passengers onto the boat. I will also say that even though this is a new ship, you're going to hear your neighbors so be prepared for that.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins